The crazy numbers behind Erling Haaland’s stellar season… and how football reacted

Manchester City’s Erling Haaland celebrates after Ilkay Gundogan scored his team’s fourth goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 match between Manchester City and RB Leipzig at the Etihad Stadium on March 14, 2023 in Manchester, England – James Gill / Getty Images

The world may stand and drool over Erling Haaland’s exceptional goalscoring streak for Manchester City, but the Norwegian striker always felt he was destined to bag hats at the club he supported as a boy.

β€œI knew I was going to score goals because last season… how many did they score? Probably 100,” he said. “So when I saw them without a striker and they crossed the ball, I was like, ‘Ah, I’d like to be there'”.

Haaland’s five goals in City’s 7-0 Champions League win over RB Leipzig on Tuesday eclipsed Tommy Johnson’s 94-year record to become the club’s top scorer in one with 39 goals in just 35 games single season.

With City potentially having 19 games left this season, half a century of goals and maybe more is firmly in sight.

How has the football world reacted to Haaland’s recent record-breaking antics? And what do the startling statistics tell us? Telegraph Sport takes a look.

Sergio Aguero

“How crazy that boy is. Pep replaced him when he was 63. I would have left him on the field because we don’t know – that boy could have scored six or seven goals.”

City’s all-time top scorer suggested he would have given Haaland a chance to become the first player to score six Champions League goals in a single game had he been in manager Pep Guardiola’s shoes.

Jack Grealish

“An absolute ball magnet.”

Grealish had coined a new nickname for Haaland when the players were back in the dressing room at full-time.

Attack stats 1: With 28 Premier League goals, Haaland has scored more this season than the entire Chelsea team combined

Michael Owen

“And they say @ManCity is a worse team with @ErlingHaaland πŸ˜‚πŸ™ˆ”

Former Liverpool and Real Madrid striker Michael Owen scoffed at questions about Haaland and City’s compatibility.


French sports newspaper L’Equipe gave Haaland a 10/10 rating – only for the 16th time – making him only the second player after Lionel Messi to earn that award twice, comparing him to ET book page on their front.

Attack 2 stats: Haaland has amassed a total of 623 touches in the Premier League this season, meaning one in every 22 touches results in a goal

Rio Ferdinand

“What Haaland is doing in football right now is amazing”

The Champions League winner with Manchester United in 2008 hinted that Haaland’s exploits were difficult to stomach.

John Steine

β€œHow do I proceed without putting pressure on Erling? He would probably benefit from it. I think he could really do whatever he wants just because of his hunger and his attitude and his professionalism and I’d love to see him do it, definitely.”

Manchester City's Norway striker Erling Haaland (L) celebrates scoring the team's fifth goal, his fourth, with England Manchester City defender John Stones during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between Manchester City and RB Leipzig im Etihad Stadium - Getty Images/Oli Scarff

Manchester City’s Norway striker Erling Haaland (L) celebrates scoring the team’s fifth goal, his fourth, with England Manchester City defender John Stones during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between Manchester City and RB Leipzig im Etihad Stadium – Getty Images/Oli Scarff

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have each scored 50 or more goals six times in a single season for Barcelona and Real Madrid, and John Stones believes Haaland could be rewriting the rule book by releasing a similar total despite playing in the Premier League .

Stat Attack 3: Haaland has averaged a goal every 75 minutes this season and has a 31 per cent shot conversion rate in the Premier League

Peter Crouch

“Haaland’s takes the P— now”

Crouch, once Liverpool, suggested Haaland started taking the Mickey.

Attack stats 4: Haaland, the youngest player with 30 Champions League goals, is also just the third player to score five goals in a Champions League game, after Messi and Luiz Adriano

Other players past and present simply opted for a few emojis to highlight Haaland’s accomplishments:

Jude Bellingham (Haaland’s former Borussia Dortmund teammate): 🀯

Carles Puyol (Messi’s old Barcelona teammate): πŸ˜³πŸ˜³πŸ˜³πŸ”πŸ”

Alan Shearer (premier league all-time top scorer with 260 goals): πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Stat attack 5: Haaland and Messi are the only players to score a first-half hat-trick in the Champions League

Noel Gallagher

“I’m at a loss for words, you know. He’s crazy. He’s got four shots and a penalty. He’s just there.”

Rock star and city fan Gallagher is rarely at a loss for words, but Haaland almost left him speechless.

Stat attack 6: It took Haaland just 19 games to score four Premier League hat-tricks. Ruud van Nistelrooy was second fastest after four in 65 games

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